Publix Hotel

504 5th Avenue S

Publix Hotel, 504 5th Ave S, Seattle, October 15, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Publix Hotel and Restaurant, 504 5th Ave S, Seattle, 1957, Courtesy UW Special Collection (SOC5211)
Publix Hotel entrance, Seattle, October 15, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Publix Hotel lobby, Seattle, October 15, 2020, HistoryLink photo by David Koch
Flooded street, Fifth Ave and Jackson St, Seattle, 1933, Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives (51392)
Publix Hotel, 405 5th Ave S, Seattle, 1928

504 5th Avenue S

The Publix Hotel marks the last of the SROs built in the CID and was opened for business in December 1927, although the sheet metal entrance canopy indicates a 1928 date. Like the Bush Hotel, the Publix was designed by architect J. L. McCauley for the Rainier Heat and Power Company, but its construction was completed after the death of company founder William Chappell.

The materials chosen for construction of the building made it unusual and unlike any hotel in the district. The design called for reinforced concrete for its frame and concrete for its foundation and walls. As the third largest SRO in the neighborhood, the Publix had 211 rooms in three bays separated by light wells and 12 commercial storefronts. Along with transient laborers, the hotel was in an ideal location to cater to visitors coming to Seattle from Union or King Street station. The Publix had one of the largest lobbies and reception desk of any hotel in the CID. From 1945 to 2003, the Publix was managed by three successive generations of one Japanese American family. The hotel closed in 2003 to comply with necessary structural upgrades. In 2016, the Publix Hotel was reopened as a mix of market-rate studio and one-bedroom apartments. The commercial storefronts that had long been closed have been restored, and a connecting apartment building to the south was added to the redevelopment.

Continue south on 5th Avenue S and turn left on S Weller Street. Walk east on Weller to Maynard Street, turn left and look across to the Eastern Café in the historic Eastern Hotel.

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